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Proposed county tax hike stands at 9.5 percent

Instead of bonding for only the four loaders, officials plan on getting a loan for all of the equipment the county has put off buying for the past several years. Officials said the county is currently in need of more than $1.5 million in plow trucks, loaders and office supplies.

Supervisors are faced this year with higher costs and lower revenues - which makes balancing a county budget nearly impossible without drastic cuts.

But faced with increasing public scrutiny, supervisors have remained focused on slashing the pending tax hike.

Several supervisors have said they wouldn't support a budget with a tax hike that wasn't in the single digits.

Discussions continue about possible layoffs and the potential of the county getting out of the fair business all together.

While talk of selling the fairgrounds began as a joke, board chairman Randy Douglas said it's grown into a legitimate potential cost-cutting measure.

"It is something that will be seriously considered. We are meeting again next Monday and it will probably be a lengthy session," he said.

Last week, supervisors learned an annual $65,000 investment in the fairgrounds and the fair was returning just $5,000.

Newcomb Supervisor George Canon noted many of his peers remain uncomfortable with the tax hike and making further cuts might take a certain style of politics.

"It's time for some old-fashioned politics," he said. "Sitting here wrangling all day isn't going to get us anywhere."

Previous attempts at cutting the county fish hatchery and the Horace Nye nursing facility have failed.

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